Skip to main content
5:00 am
hello, i'm tom burk, this is mosaic. i've been looking forward to today for at least 48 hours. i get a half hour uninterrupted with a man i've grown to respect. he is the himself of the roman catholic arch dioceses of san francisco and a darn good one. thank you so much for being here today. >> thank you for that wonderful introduction. >> you deserve so much more. you're going -- we are talking about being a shepherd, you're the shepherd of the archdiocese of san francisco. 500,000 catholics running around out there. you probably met a dozen of them with your trip today. how do you look over 500,000
5:01 am
souls? >> there are other shepherds. they are the priests, the chief cooperatetors with -- cooperators with the bishop, women listen and men religious -- women religious, men religious, teachers in schools, anybody who helps carry out the mission of the church. i get along with a lot of help from my friends, not a little help. and i think too, i like to say for another image besides shepherd, i like to say about the conductor leading an orchestra, of all of those people on the stage, the only one not making a sound is the conductor, what he's doing is bringing together orchestrating the sounds all the others make and i think that that's really important for me to remember that it's a work of other people that are going to advance the life of the church. >> well, i've been happily part of the diocese for 30 years
5:02 am
now. i'm part of the noise. yes, you are, says my mother, you are a noise factor. i mean, since 2005, 2006, you were installed here and we -- so i've known you since then on a limited basis but i haven't had this much time alone with you and i don't think really many people do, really can. so this is a real treat. how do you handle that? how do you handle being able to have so many people to see? because your days must be pretty crowded. >> that's true but you don't begin in square one with anyone, we share the faith, we share about our experience in worship, in prayer in family life as a catholic, we share having worked for the church so that there are certain things you can presume, i think. it doesn't have to begin at the very beginning with each person. and i think that that's a foundation on which to build, however short or long the relationship or the exchange is that we get past what might
5:03 am
keep us distant because of what unites us. >> archbishop, you've been 50 years a priest. congratulations. >> thank you. >> 17 years a bishop, and it must have been an exciting time for you. i want to ask you one of the better questions first. the church, you were happy to help us through the vatican 2 pump because you were ordained in 1962 so how was that? was how the church you knew, the church you know today, the church you see for the future? >> i think the church was growing even before the vatican council. it's always been growing and changing with each generation, but i think the vatican council really touched back into older traditions, not so much a whole new way of being catholic, but touching into traditions that have perhaps been lost or understated, for instance, having the worship as the
5:04 am
language of the people. that's an old tradition, not a new idea. it was new to the mid 20th century but it was a renewal rather than bringing in something new and i think that was true for a lot of things, for our sacraments, understanding how to teach the faith and living the faith, it was a renewing rather than a brand-new product. >> i want to ask you too and we will get to the future, we will get to today, but how was that for people of your generation, priests of your generation, did you so he that coming or did you -- or how did somebody adjust? >> i don't think we saw that coming. saying that the first half of the 20th century and the church of america was unusual for the 20th century history of the church. everyone was very certain of the understanding what the faith meant, they were certain about what their obligations
5:05 am
were, they were certain that the enemies of their faith were outside themselves. they identified them, whether it was communism, whatever it might be and then i think the idea of having people have to talk to one another about what it means to be catholic, having to understand -- perhaps apply it to new situations, that was something that developed with the vatican council, i think, the sense that it's an ongoing learning process, it's not just learning something in the first 10 or 15 years of your life and then unthinkingly applying it for the rest of your life. it really is bringing the light of christ, the light of the teachings to bear upon new developments in your own life and in the world. >> thank you very much. you've held a lot of hands through that whole process, i'm sure, mine included somehow. i will be back on mosaic with archbishop neederhour.
5:06 am
stay with us.
5:07 am
isn't that a great picture of you? that's a wonderful picture of archbishop george niederauer. wonderful to have you be here. >> glad to be here archdiocese of three counties, san francisco, marin, 500,000 catholics, you shepherd them all through the help of your priests. but you have to -- i have to ask you, you have a wonderful past, you're going to have a big future but today there's a big thing going on in the church, fort night for freedom, the show will air in the midst of it. tell us about that. >> sure. in the whole history of the church in this country, religious freedom has been a cornerstone of all the other liberties as well and in the -- in january of this year the department of health and human
5:08 am
services announced a mandate with regard to insurance and so on, but more important to us, much more important to us were the lasting effect is the principle they based it on and the principle was that you are -- they defined a religious organization for the first time that the government ever did that, you're religious and you're entitled to religious freedom when you're in your church teaching your faith or worshiping and employing and working among the people of your own faith. now, the tradition at the church in this country has been we operate schools, we operate hospitals, we operate charitable organizations and we reach out to everybody. we don't help and reach out to just catholics. we have always been able to follow our own religious convictions in the way we reach out and what we are concerned about is that with this new definition, they can tell us when we are being religious and when we are not and the one looming concern for me is that
5:09 am
for a long time now there are many national organizations which have been very critical of the catholic church, especially catholic hospitals for letting their own -- letting our own beliefs affect how we administer health care, and they said, for example, well, if you're serving the entire community and you welcome catholics and noncatholics as well into your hospital then you should, for example, be providing abortion, and catholic hospitals will not be able to do that, but there are those who say that, well, if you're serving the community, you should provide a full range of reproductive rights, which includes in their interpretation abortions and this same principle came in january about the insurance can be used as that. well, you're reaching out to the community, you're not really being as religious as you are when you're worshiping at mass, so, no, you don't have the freedom to say we will not
5:10 am
perform abortions and that hasn't happened yet, but that will come down the road, because it's very much based on the assumption that this issue was. >> and this fort night for freedom is to raise awareness of that and bring catholics together around the country? >> inspiration we had from catholic leaders, well, why not say something about the 4th of july about it. so the fort night for freedom goes from june 21st and it ends on july 4th and it's to call -- to pray, to learn, to act, to interact with our public representatives on this matter of always refreshing and renewing religious freedom. >> and i want to ask you too archbishop because the fortnight for freedom has a lot to do with communication. you've told me personally, i'm sure many others that if st. paul were alive today that he would be in your chair. >> absolutely. pope john paul ii said that
5:11 am
would be the new public square. the public square now is electronic, not just a piece of land in the middle of town. and that's where paul preached and that's where he would be teaching and responding to criticism now. >> and do you think the church is getting better at getting it, that we are getting better at dialogue, we are getting better at moving forward, getting better at getting our word out and listening to others? >> we are getting better but we need to get even better. >> okay. >> i think the more we learn about it, what works, what doesn't, how it works, not to be afraid of it, to plunge in, the more that parishes, dioceses, priests, bishops, women religious, everybody gets more involved in it, the more confident we get and the better judgment we exercise about how to do it well. so it's that kind of thing, i think it's getting in, don't just walk around the pool, get in and swim. >> come in, the water is fine. >> exactly.
5:12 am
>> i want to ask you too and we have to take a break, but you have a wonderful voice. if you wanted to get into voiceovers, you probably could. you give the best -- >> nobody ever said that until i was in my 60s so good luck to you because maybe our voices change downward or something but nobody ever said it until about 10 years ago. >> we are going to sneak away and we will be back. archbishop george niederauer on mosaic.
5:13 am
5:14 am
here we go. welcome back to mosaic, today we are delighted that with us archbishop george niederauer, the archbishop of the robel
5:15 am
catholic -- roman catholic diocese of san francisco. you've been to the program several times before. you're on your way to retirement, your letter is in at the vatican. >> yes. >> i want to ask you about that, about 75. personally, you're 76 now, you just had your birthday, happy birthday. i always thought 75 was a long time. i always thought that was a lot for priests and bishops to give. >> i think it is. and quite frankly, here in the archdiocese of san francisco, retirement age is 70, they can retire with no questions asked and many of our priests do retire at 70. the vatican has set the age for retirement of bishops as 75. if there's illness, they take that into consideration if you can't handle the duties anymore, then they will accept a resignation. but they will require at 75, and we in the archdiocese will do that too, but a priest may
5:16 am
certainly retire at 70. my understanding is that with people living longer and staying healthy longer, that even people in terms of national policy and recommendations about social security and so on are considering retirement to be at least a few months later and with every year that we go forward so that i even hear secularly that there are questions about what should retirement be like. >> what i want to ask you too, is that 70, that's a long time to give, a lot of priests who are ordained, what we call lives, 25, 50 years generally and they are 75 years old but sometimes we don't realize how long a time priests serve and they continue to serve but that 70 and 75 is a long time for those of us who want to retire at 55. >> i understand that. but it is a vocation, not a job, it's a lifelong commitment and i think what we have to be
5:17 am
very careful about is and i almost wasn't when this came into my head, it's retirement from administration. >> right, that's right. >> if somebody asks me does that mean you won't be saying mass anymore, you won't be hearing confessions, you won't be teaching anymore? not at all. many of our retired priests love supplying in parishes, love saying mass on sunday, hearing confessions, doing a baptism for somebody in the family or somebody who asks them specially. that's pastor work and that goes on until you can't do it anymore but you think what you retire from is responsibility in terms of administration. >> yeah. >> and that's what a bishop retires from, that's what pace tore of a parish retires from. >> what do they call it, locks, you get to give them up. i have to ask you, who is archbishop george niederauer at home? do you have a pair of slippers? do you relax, what do you like to do? do you mind.
5:18 am
>> not at all. i very much enjoy reading, not so much fiction anymore, more nonfiction, i'm interested in that, especially things like memoirs and biographies. i have a stamp collection which i pay less and less attention to but it's a vatican collection now, used to be u.s. but i got away from it a bit. >> do you have any winners in there? >> a couple but that's it, old ones. but the -- i like -- i very much like films. i very much like seeing especially what can be done abroad in other countries, you know, as well as u.s. made films. so i enjoy that. i love classical music and i love listening to it and i love it playing in the background. i think -- not that i think mozart would want to be in the background music but he is sometimes when i'm reading. >> do you go to davies and the symphonies and that kind of thing? >> i do. and i'm going to the opera,
5:19 am
actually mozart in a week or so. >> you're not a golfer? >> no. i didn't catch that gene from my dad who loved golf and i took -- i took two lessons and that was enough for me. i began to kid my dad, i would say, you know what golf spells backwards, flog. and somebody else called it the game that ruined a perfectly good walk. i admire golfers, i just don't envy them. >> you're from los angeles. >> yes, i am. >> are you a dodgers fan? >> not anymore. not anymore. i moved north and so did my affections, so, no, i'm very happy being -- in fact, i'm going to a game this afternoon. >> that's right. and you'll have a great time, i'm sure. i want -- we are going to take a break and i don't want to give this too brief a time, but every one of us has people who help us toward the person we are today. who was that for you?
5:20 am
who were they? >> oh, the teachers i had in elementary school, the teachers i had in high school in the seminary, my companions from the seminary. principally my mother and father. they supported their only child going into the priesthood and were always in my corner on that, even though, yes it did mean they wouldn't be having grandchildren and that's really selfless love on my -- from my point of view. >> and i thank you for being here today, you're showing that shepherd. >> thank you. >> you have your staff with us whether it's appearing or not. we are going to take a break, archbishop and we will be back on mosaic. stay with us.
5:21 am
the 408, 669 area code overlay begins. starting october 20, 2012, if you have a 408 or 669 number,
5:22 am
you'll need to dial 1, plus the area code plus the phone number for all calls. even for calls within the same area code, you'll still need to dial 1 plus the area code, plus the phone number. so when in doubt, dial it out! for more information, contact your service provider or visit us on the web. welcome back to mosaic.
5:23 am
i'm tom burk and we are here with archbishop niederauer. we have had half an hour with you alone, it's been wonderful. we've got five minutes left. how about let's just talk for a second about the wonderful priests and sisters and people you work with here. aren't they one -- they are the backbone of what goes on. >> they are remarkable. i can't imagine how one could be a bishop without being involved daily, hourly basis with the priests. they are the ones who bring the life of the church together, out of the -- pope john paul ii used the call the family the domestic church so in a sense they are the next level up. the parish is all those families that come together to woburn together for -- worship together for the sacraments, to learn the faith. that's where church happens, at
5:24 am
that parish level. now, that doesn't -- that isn't the only place it happens and yes it's important to have high schools and colleges and to have catholic charities, organizations on but all of that presumes what's happening in the parish, and the priests make that happen, they are self- sacrificing, very generous and they are -- i admire them for one thing they don't put up with a lot of nonsense from the bishop. they promise respect and obedience and they have good questions and suggestions sometimes and they want some answers and that's their right. >> we don't have a lot of time. best moments, your best moments here, your best moments as a priest, your best moments as a bishop. >> best moments interestingly for me are certainly the liturgies of the cathedrals, used to run christmas and holy week but confirmations, i love
5:25 am
con firmtionz -- confirmations, it is so upbeat. young adults being young catholics. i don't get tired of them even though there are a lot of them and i would say the walk for life here that in the midst of a very secular population, first, five and 10 and 15 and 25 and 25,000 people come together and they don't call it a march even, they call it a walk and they come in the middle of january when anything can happen weatherwise and yet they are out there to witness their faith, not to attack anybody but just to say we are here and we are for life. >> and we are going to miss you, archbishop. i know i am and i know a lot of other people are and it's been wonderful having you here. and you are an educator, you taught for a number of years, doctorate in english literature. but you always found -- you had a home, you said -- and a parish where you said mass.
5:26 am
>> oh, yes. >> so you never let yourself get away from being a parish priest. do you feel that same way today? >> i do very much. i think -- well, it's interesting, even the theologians call being a bishop the fullness of the priesthood. it's the same priesthood that the priests exercise, the same sacraments that the deacons receive, we all cooperate in different ways and in different dimensions to the life of the church. so it isn't just being out there alone performing. it's being together in shepherding and caring for the people. >> we have just a little bit of time for you to tell us what's in the future for you. >> retirement. >> or that time when you get away from the administration as we say. >> after the new archbishop is installed, i will move into the -- what's called the archbishop's house on the grounds of the st. patrick's seminary in menlo park. i love seminary life, young people keep you young and they
5:27 am
are idealistic, and i i'd like to be among them, part of their community and i don't know whether i'll teach or write or whatever. i think i'll make that plan after i don't have to plan my days here. >> we will see you around. >> oh, you will,. >> we have very little time less. exhort us to whatever you like. >> i think it's very important to focus on what we are really about which is the following of jesus christ. he is lord and savior. he means forgiveness of sins and eternal life for us if we will follow his teaching to recognize him and those who are hungry, those who are thirsty, those who are strangers and need to be taken in, the sick. that's what we need to do. >> archbishop need-hour when we hang that -- niederauer when we hang that plaque for best guest, you are there. thanks for joining us on mosaic. ,,,,,,,,,,,,
5:28 am
5:29 am

CBS October 7, 2012 5:00am-5:30am PDT

Series/Special. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 11, San Francisco 5, George Niederauer 3, Catholic 3, Vatican 3, U.s. 2, Tom Burk 2, Niederauer 2, Jesus Christ 1, Patrick 1, Davies 1, John Paul 1, Archbishop Neederhour 1, On Mosaic 1, Pope John Paul 1, Vocation 1, Woburn 1, Los Angeles 1, Menlo Park 1, Mosaic 1
Network CBS
Duration 00:30:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 109 (705 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 1920
Pixel height 1080
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 10/7/2012